Monday, February 26, 2018

Painting the Town Red

Nothing like a quiet Sunday morning with coffee in hand and a game on the table, all set to go.

The armies collide.
For those not familiar with the "Sawmill Village" scenario, two advance guards clash at a small town with victory going to the side (if any) that holds the town at the end. To avoid long term background story consequences, I just called the armies "Red" and "Blue" without getting into where, when and why the clash was taking place.

In the Scenarios for Wargames version, players choose 6 units from a list. Cavalry and light units are described as being half the size of infantry units so, since I have recently decided to up all units to 4 hits regardless of troop type, I placed two infantry "companies" per "unit", grouped into two to four company "Battalions". Grant notes that light infantry units should be able to break down into  smaller sub-units which my rules don't normally allow but I decided to try it.

Red fielded 8 infantry, 1 gun and 1 light infantry while Blue had 6 infantry, 1 gun and 2 light infantry.  Once the light infantry were split both sides ended up with 11 game units.

Blue's Skirmishers have grabbed the town as both armies deploy. They were soon reinforced but Red's Guardsmen soon drove Blue from the town.
The scenario begins with both armies marching down the road until they spot the enemy. Since neither side had cavalry present to race ahead, the opposing columns bumped into each other on the streets of the town. At that point I rolled to determine a basic battle plan for each side. 1-2 left hook, 3-4 push up the centre, 5-6  right hook. Red rolled a right hook, Blue a "hey-diddle-diddle, right up the middle" approach.

Blue retakes the East side of town but casualties are mounting and the counter attack stalls. 
The game was one of those ding-dong affairs where one side would grab what looked like a commanding advantage only to be knocked back while the other side surged ahead. Some of the buildings in town changed hands 4 times as well as being successfully defended several times.

Initially I thought Red's plan of attacking up the right might have been a mistake since it took so long to get in place. The fighting in the town surged back and forth though with little room for intervention and eventually the flanking force was in position to bring fire on Blue's reserves and rallying units and still be able to directly attack the flank of the town in support of the Fusiliers. Blue's reserves on the other hand were backed up and had to attack in waves until they finally opted to modify the plan to try and counter the Highlanders. Too little too late.
Red once again drives Blue from the town, this time inflicting heavy losses as the flank attack by the Highlanders comes in. Blue is forced to withdraw.
A brisk and very enjoyable game with a slightly stripped down version of the rules. I played 14 out of a potential 15 turns, with 11 units a side, in about an hour and 1/2.  Since this is one of the smallest scenarios I should easily be able to handle a scenario double the size or more in an afternoon.

Looking back through some old blog posts from 2012, I found that I had decided back then that a 5" square grid was my best fit as long as I did the work to make a table wider than 4 feet. Several times since then I've reconfirmed the right-ness of the 5" grid for my figures, basing and terrain. Its just taken me a while to investigate all of the next best, appearing easier, alternatives and dismiss them.

With an eye to the upcoming Huzzah! convention game, the next post will delve a bit more into the current version of the rules and the impact of rules focus on scenario size, pace and complexity and on the types of things I want to see players focusing on, especially at a convention.  


  1. Looks like a great game - that first picture is really nice.

    1. Thanks. I love it when that sort comes out and hate it when I see that I've captured the clutter.

  2. A good looking game and a well spent Sunday morning.

  3. Great to see all those scarlet tunics and bearskins on the table, I like the way the roofs lift off the houses, what are they made of?

    1. Thanks. The houses were made from foamcore using a ..'simplified' version of the Major-General's Colonial Wargaming site (fm 20 yeas ago?!!!) for a 2016 40mm game set in New France. See post

  4. I saw the title in my link list and though we were going to get a Clint Eastwood post! Doh!